By Brittany Lieu, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing
Being creative isn’t exclusively reserved for your creative team. As our world becomes more automated and the tools and tech we adopt continue to transform business efficiencies, creative value becomes indispensable.
Creativity is not limited to artistry. It’s the art of leaning into an opportunity for improvement or change.
What do I mean by that? In Seth Godin’s insightful LinkedIn Learning course, “Creativity At Work,” he defines the always in-demand skill as the willingness to solve interesting problems. He discusses how we are overlooking the opportunities to innovate right in front of us.
Here are a few ideas from this course that stuck with me most.
A Culture of Creativity Must Be Intentional
You are amazing at what you do and that’s what stops you from being creative. At work, we are hired to do what we do best and oftentimes will continue to only operate in ways that have proven to lead to success.
This is also seen at the higher organizational level. A lot of brands we know and love today are great because they are industry leaders, specializing in a specific product or service as a company. However, many of these brands are only as successful as they are today because someone somewhere down the line decided to pursue a risky new idea.
When Nintendo, the Japanese multinational video game company, first opened its doors they were not in the business of making and selling Mario games or gaming consoles. They sold hand-painted playing cards.
This is only one of many examples of brands that challenged what was likely the status quo and leaned into creativity.
Where does that creativity begin? Research conducted by Google on effective teams reveals that one of the most important components of a high performing team is psychological safety. Defined as “an individual’s perception of the consequences of taking an interpersonal risk,” psychological safety is needed to create a safe space for sharing all ideas.
A Problem Without A Solution is a Situation
The first step to inspiring creativity is to acknowledge that there is a problem to be solved. Whether it’s an internal issue related to processes or concerns raised by your customers, amplify the problem.
Godin recommends to “bring the outside voices inside and put them into a format that is easy to share.” By making the problem known, you establish the need to address it and generate new ideas to solve it.
Contribute Bad Ideas
There is no such thing as writer’s block. In this course, Godin boldly makes this claim. What’s his rationale? According to him, writer’s block is because of a lack of ideas but a reflection of our inherent fear of bad writing.
Whether we’re writers, sales or marketing professionals, we adhere to the mindset that expressing bad ideas is bad. However, the key to cultivating creativity as a team lies in your comfortability with failure.
Once you’ve established that a problem is a problem and one worth solving, it’s to your best benefit to relentlessly attempt to solve it even if that includes many failed attempts.
Making Creativity A Habit
I hope this post has inspired you to rethink how you get your creative juices flowing. Being creative is a skill to be practiced. Seek to generate and execute new ideas and make sure you don’t let fear of failure get in your way!